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Police scold stolen Tesla owners for tracking, confronting thief

The incident involves a mayoral candidate and two Teslas that collided during the encounter.

Police in a suburb of New Haven, Connecticut, have scolded a family for hunting down their own stolen Tesla while their kids rode in the back seat.

Local mayoral candidate Lauren Garret's family was leaving dinner at a sushi restaurant when they discovered that one of their two Tesla vehicles had been stolen, according to a New Haven Independent report.

Stories told by Garret and the police contain conflicting information, though both center around a confrontation that occurred after the owners used Tesla's smartphone app to track their stolen vehicle and confront the alleged thief.

Hamden police captain Ronald Smith claims Garret's husband -- driving the family's other Tesla with two children in the back seat -- found the vehicle at a red light "and began yelling at the suspect." The confrontation involved a collision between both vehicles, which Garret blames on the suspected thief's attempt to flee. The stolen car was ultimately abandoned and recovered nearby.

"Do not attempt to engage in any form with a criminal suspect, especially with small children present," the police said in a statement.

Garret has criticized the police press release as a "political stunt" and disagrees with law enforcement's allegation that the car was not yet reported stolen before it was found abandoned. She also claims the family was not 'engaging' the suspect and her husband was not yelling during the incident.

"They're trying to accuse me of doing something dangerous with my kids in the car," she said. "It's a stunt."

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